Rep. Fred Upton says the Catfood Commission II has already gotten to work. I don’t know if that simply means that the members have already started raising money off the fact that they’re members of the Catfood Commission II or what. But apparently there’s been a little activity.
Upton said he’s not talking about any specifics now in regards to the “super committee” and waved off questions about whether he’d consider “revenue enhancements.”
But he did say that super committee already has started work, and there was a big conference call yesterday. He said that everything is on the table, and they are reviewing the proposals offered by the Senate’s so-called Gang of Six and the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction committee, which produced a report last year.
“I do believe there’s a lot of common ground,” he said.
Upton did say that he is in favor of job creation measures, since increased tax revenue from more workers reduces the deficit. So that’s nice. But if you want to know where the Catfood Commission II is likely to head with its recommendations, a good place to start is by looking at the makeup of their campaign donors, nicely laid out by Andy Kroll:
The heaviest hitters are no surprise: lawyers and law firms (who often top lists of political donations), big banks such as Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, and political outfits including the lefty EMILY’s List and the conservative Club for Growth. As the Super Committee begins debating further spending cuts and (maybe) revenue increases as part of a deficit reduction package due by November, it’s worth bearing in mind, as with any big debate in Washington, that there are big donors behind the lawmakers at the bargaining table.
The top ten industries include lawyers, securities firms, health care and insurance, real estate, business services, and education. The top ten PACs:
Club for Growth ($990,066), Microsoft Corp. ($810,100), University of California ($629,495), Goldman Sachs ($592,684), EMILY’s List ($586,835), Citigroup Inc. ($561,081), JPMorgan Chase & Co. ($494,316), Bank of America ($349,566), Skadden, Arps, et al. ($347,356), General Electric ($340,935).
Some of this is distorted by the fact that Patty Murray was in an expensive contested election last year in Washington state, and EMILY’s List (and Microsoft) gave her a lot of money. But the extreme amounts from banking sector PACs sticks out here. Only Pat Toomey on the Senate side is on the Banking Committee, and only Jeb Hensarling among House members. So clearly the banks spread the money around outside their jurisdiction. What I’m trying to say is, forget about a financial transactions tax from this committee, or closing the carried interest loophole, for that matter.
The full list of contributors is at MapLight.org.